Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Keeping That Inner Monologue Inside...

With the advent of Social Media, for the first time in world history, the possibility exists for millions of people to be able to read your mind.  Think about that for a moment.  I'm not talking about telepathy, rather I'm talking about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even the lowly Blog post.

Take blogging, for example.  If you've read my other posts, as well as my other blog The Four Scorpio Production Report, then you've been able to tap into my thoughts, however briefly.  As a writer, I am putting my ideas down onto virtual paper where they are then posted into the ether for all eternity (thanks to the Internet Wayback machine, nothing ever dies online).

With Facebook and Twitter, people's thoughts are being transmitted all over the world in real time--billions and billions of postings each day.  With Wi-Fi, these thoughts can even be read in outer space.  Like radio back in the 1920s, anyone with a receiver (smart phone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer, etc.) can log on and see whatever you post.

Those of us who remember the 20th Century, or even the last decade, remember what life was like before all this technology overload.  Us actors, directors, producers, writers, and other Hollywood creatives who made the migration to Los Angeles back in the days of black & white headshots , pagers and messenger services have witnessed the biggest change to the entertainment industry since the advent of talking pictures.

Yes, the changes going on today are even bigger than when TV first made its consumer advent back in the 1950s.  Never before has it been literally possible to actually be able to communicate with so many entertainers and public figures in real time.  Anyone who's followed a celebrity on Twitter knows what I'm talking about.  You can literally talk back to them, and sometimes, they will answer you!

For those of us pursuing careers as public figures, this gives us an awesome opportunity that never existed before.  In the space of less than a decade, we have our own film distribution network (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.), real time press releases (Twitter), and virtual audience meet & greet (Facebook -- which also works great as a time machine!)  But even the general public has access to this technology, and so the lines between public and private life are being blurred more and more each minute.

When Andy Warhol stated that everyone would be famous for 15 minutes, I don't think he was envisioning today's technology.  But these advances have definitely fulfilled his prophecy.

So, back to my point about keeping an inner monologue inside.  Because everyone has access to this technology, the temptation to post, Tweet, blog, Vine or YouTube about anything on your mind is a very great one.  Whenever you see a post or article on the Internet that you don't like, it's very tempting to go on a real-time rant, texting furiously with your thumbs.  Sometimes, when you're not in the right frame of mind, you might be tempted to Twitpic a very inappropriate photo.

As human beings, our brains have the amazing opportunity to abandon all sense of rational thought at the drop of a hat.  None of us are immune from this.  Everyone from Einstein down to the lowliest of the lowly has probably said things that we've regretted.  But back in the 90s, it wouldn't come back to haunt us like it will now.  With average people making CNN headlines regarding sexting pics and the like that have cost them jobs and relationships, it's become more and more evident that this Internet is a loaded weapon with the same destructive power as the atom bomb.

So actors, beware.  Sometimes your inner monologue should just stay inside.  Considering that we're trying to build our own brand, it's very important that anything we do post or say is carefully crafted and thought out.  Stream of consciousness works great with Improv, but Twitter and Facebook is no place to practice being "in the moment".  Anything you say or post should be in line with your brand.  If your image that is being crafted is one of political activism, then by all means go political.  But if that's not your bag, there's nothing wrong with staying out of those Facebook rants and debates.

The only thing I would recommend being an "Outer Monologue" would be those uplifting news stories and videos that show the best of humanity (or animals doing cute things).  No matter what your religious or political beliefs,  posts like that can make us feel connected and restore faith in the human species.  With all the negative crap out there, stuff like this should definitely keep going viral.

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